A senior police official in Kashmir, Muneer Khan, said on Tuesday that Farooq Abdullah had been formally arrested under the so-called Public Safety Act (PSA) and his home turned into a “judicial lockup”, Presstv Reported.
Abdullah, a former chief minister who ruled Kashmir for three terms, was already under house arrest since early August, when New Delhi stripped Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status and imposed a lockdown across the Muslim-majority region.
India deployed troops to the region to stymie potential protests. The government in New Delhi also imposed severe restrictions on movements, and cut all phone and internet connections.
On August 6, a day after New Delhi revoked the special status of the valley, Abdullah climbed a wall of his house to address the media and condemned the move. That was the last time he was seen in public.
“Why could they not wait? After 70 years, they have stabbed the people of the state. As soon as our gates open, our people will be out,” Abdullah said at the time. “We will fight, we will go to the courts. We’re not gun-runners, grenade-throwers, stone-throwers, we believe in a peaceful resolution of things.”
Media reports citing recent government data indicate that Indian forces have arrested more than 3,800 people across the region over the past few weeks.
The bulk of those arrested — more than 3,000 — were listed as “stone pelters and other miscreants.”
India’s top court tells government to restore normal life to Kashmir
On Monday, India’s top court said the federal government should restore normal life in Kashmir as soon as possible, as a partial shutdown of the disputed region entered its 42nd day.
“We direct Jammu and Kashmir to make the very best endeavor to make sure normal life returns,” India’s Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, after a panel of three judges heard several petitions relating to Kashmir.
The controversial action in Kashmir has angered both Pakistan, which controls parts of Kashmir, and the local population.
Pakistan has warned that the situation in Kashmir could spark an “accidental war” between New Delhi and Islamabad, calling on the United Nations to act.
India has long accused Pakistan of training, arming, and sending militants to Kashmir. Pakistan denies the charge.
Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since their partition in 1947.